Earthquake in Albania on November 26 2019 06:43 AM (UTC).
The death toll from a powerful Albanian earthquake rose to 50 as the search for survivors was called off, Prime Minister Edi Rama said Saturday.The 6.4 magnitude quake that hit the Balkan country before dawn on Tuesday was the most deadly and destructive in decades and left about 5,000 people homeless."The number of the earthquake victims reached 50 and rescue operations have ended," Rama told a cabinet meeting while struggling to hold back tears.Entire families were crushed in their homes while they were sleeping, forcing relatives and neighbours to watch in agony as rescue teams pulled bodies from the ruins this week.About 900 people were injured, of whom 41 are still hospitalised, according to the defence ministry.The damage was the worst near the Adriatic coast in the port city of Durres and the town of Thumane, where scores of people were trapped beneath the wreckage of apartment buildings and hotels.The funeral of eight members of the Lala family, including four children, killed in Durres was to be held later on Saturday.Only one member of the family, Rame Lala, 19, survived when his four-storey home collapsed.He sustained serious injuries and was evacuated to Italy with two other victims for specialised care.Nearly 2,500 people from the worst-hit areas have been moved into hotels or other buildings.Another 3,480 people in the capital Tirana, where there were no casualties, fled to shelters, with some now housed in reception centres and others staying in the homes of relatives, Rama said.The prime minister on Saturday expressed "deep gratitude" to rescue teams from Albania and around Europe who had pulled some 50 people from the ruins.Rama met a French team in Durres on Friday, commenting that "two weeks ago, football world champions were in Albania", in reference to a Euro 2020 qualifying match against France.Now it was "world champions in rescuing the lives of others" who had showed up, he said on Twitter.Rana also attended the burials of nine people from two families who had died in Thumane.Towns in one of Europe's poorest countries, which has a population of 2.8 million people, developed chaotically after the fall of communism in the 1990s.Experts say a lot of construction took place without respect for building codes and with cheaper materials.

The search and rescue operation for earthquake survivors in Albania has ended, with no more bodies believed to be in the ruins.Prime Minister Edi Rama said Saturday the death toll is 50 from Tuesday's 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake. About 2,000 people were injured.Rama said preliminary figures showed about 900 buildings in Durres and more than 1,465 in Tirana, the capital, were seriously damaged.
The operation to find survivors and recover bodies from Albania's deadly earthquake was winding down Friday, with rescue crews limiting their efforts to a collapsed beachfront hotel in the port town of Durres as the death toll climbed to 49.Albanian, Serb and Montenegrin rescue crews were working through the ruins of the hotel, where one person was believed to still be missing, Defense Ministry spokeswoman Albana Qehajaj said. Neighboring countries and European Union nations rushed in rescue crews and specialized equipment hours after the quake struck.About 2,000 people were injured in Tuesday's 6.4-magnitude pre-dawn quake, said Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu, after information was collected from hospitals, small health centers, homes and those now staying in tents.The most seriously affected areas were Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital, Tirana, and the nearby town of Thumane. The search operation in Thumane ended Wednesday.The earthquake struck as people slept, and nearly all of those killed were trapped when their apartment buildings or hotels they were staying in collapsed on top of them. Hundreds of aftershocks, with at least three of magnitudes greater than 5, have rattled the country and complicated rescue efforts.Apart from the buildings that collapsed, Prime Minister Edi Rama said preliminary figures showed about 700 buildings in Durres and more than 235 in Tirana were seriously damaged."Now comes the hard time for us with non-stop work to bring life back to normal," said Rama, who said he had appealed for international help in reconstruction efforts. He has vowed to re-house all those left homeless "in better living conditions than before the quake," within a year.About 500 people spent a third night in tents in Thumane, while a total of about 2,000 people from Durres and Thumane were moved to temporary accommodation in hotels, schools and sports halls.

ALBANIA has been rocked by another earthquake as 4.4kilometre tremors hit the country.The tremors hit 1km from Shijak and Durrës.
It hit on Thursday at around 20:33 local time (19:33 GMT)Full details of the earthquake are yet to be released.This is the second earthquake in a week to strike the area.The aftershocks come from the 6.4-magnitude earthquake which struck the country before dawn on Tuesday.Around 40 people lost their lives in the earthquake and hopes of finding survivors are fading.More than 650 people were injured in the disaster and rescue teams are searching for survivors as 530 aftershocks continued rocking buildings and scaring people.Prime Minister Edi Rama declared a national day of mourning on Wednesday.He also announced a 30-day state of emergency for Durres and Thumane, where the earthquake damage is at its worst.Albanians have been sleeping in their cars at the roadside amid ongoing fears over Tuesday's deadly earthquake.Parked cars lined roads near Tirana as people heeded warnings not to return indoors until buildings can be checked by engineers.Thursday's national day of celebration marking independence was cancelled.Instead, thousands of Albanian's sought refuge in the streets amid fear of more earthquakes.Thousands were left homeless from Tuesday's initial earthquake.It was the worst the country had seen in decades.
While authorities have promised to rebuild and provide shelters, many survivors are still sleeping in tents and gyms, and in their vehicles.
Hopes were fading Thursday of finding anyone else alive beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania, two days after a deadly quake struck the country's Adriatic coast, killing at least 41 people and injuring more than 750.Authorities said search and rescue operations were continuing in three collapsed buildings in the port city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana. Searching had stopped, however, in the nearby town of Thumane, where no more people were believed to be buried in collapsed apartment buildings after six bodies were recovered from the rubble overnight.The Health Ministry said Thursday that more than 750 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn Tuesday, leading to dozens of people being trapped in collapsed apartment buildings. The main quake has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including at least three with magnitudes of above 5.0, which have complicated rescue efforts.Another aftershock, with a magnitude of 4.9, rattled the area midday on Thursday, sending people fleeing into the streets in panic. At least one building suffered further damage from the aftershock, while mourners rushed from a building where they had gathered for the start of funeral ceremonies for some of the victims.In some cases, entire families were killed in the earthquake.Hundreds of people turned out in Durres for the funeral of the Reci family - 54-year-old Eduard, his 49-year-old wife Dolora, their son Klaus, 21 and daughter Kristi, 25, killed when their apartment building collapsed.Rescue crews with specialized equipment, sniffer dogs and emergency supplies have flooded into the country from neighboring countries and other European nations to help in the search efforts and provide for those left homeless. Romania said Thursday it was sending an extra 52 firefighters and 12 tons of equipment on two military aircraft, while Switzerland was also sending 15 experts.Many of those left without homes in Thumane spent a second night in tents, unwilling to head to hotels along the coast made available for their accommodation while the search operation continued. A total of about 2,100 people had spent Tuesday night in tents, and the government has vowed to provide new homes during 2020 for all those left homeless.Authorities have warned residents not to return to any buildings that could have been damaged until engineers can check the structures for safety.While rescue crews sifted through the rubble with diminishing chances of finding anyone else alive, questions mounted as to why some buildings collapsed while others in the same area appeared untouched, with some pointing the blame at shoddy construction practices and corruption in Albania's burgeoning building industry."No construction norms have been applied during the post-communist period" which began in the 1990s, said civil engineer Jorgaq Stasi, 74. "Projects lack seismological and geological studies before application."Stasi suggested the government take drastic measures such as halting construction across the country and ensuring adequate space between buildings. He said building codes during communist times restricted constructions to a maximum of five stories, while now 10-15-story buildings were commonplace."With such strong quakes, catastrophic ones as they are called of 6-7 magnitude, and the way we have built everywhere, not respecting norms, it is no wonder we have calamities," he said.Construction worker Ilir K., who would not give his full name for fear of retribution and legal issues, said owners frequently ask him to make changes to the original plans for a building's construction."I am often asked by the (person paying for the building) to add a room or to take away a cement pillar," he said. "What can I do, with the little payment I get? There is no checking, and the builder easily bribes the supervisor."
Hopes were fading Thursday of finding anyone else alive beneath the rubble of collapsed buildings in Albania two days after a deadly quake struck the country's Adriatic coast, with the death toll increasing to 40 after more bodies were pulled from the ruins.Authorities said search and rescue operations continued in the port city of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana, where three bodies were recovered overnight. Searching had stopped however in the nearby town of Thumane, where no more people were believed to be buried in collapsed apartment buildings after six bodies were recovered from the rubble overnight.More than 650 people were injured in the 6.4-magnitude earthquake that struck before dawn Tuesday and has been followed by hundreds of aftershocks, including several with magnitudes of above 5.0, which have complicated rescue efforts.Rescue crews with specialized equipment, sniffer dogs and emergency supplies have flooded into the country from neighboring countries and other European nations to help in the search efforts and provide for those left homeless.Many of those left without homes in Thumane spent a second night in tents, unwilling to head to hotels along the coast made available for their accommodation while the search operation continued. A total of about 2,100 people had spent Tuesday night in tents, and the government has vowed to provide new homes during 2020 for all those left homeless.Authorities have warned residents not to return to any buildings that could have been damaged until engineers can check the structures for safety.
The death toll of Tuesday's earthquake in Albania has risen to 35, the Albanian Daily News paper said citing the country's authorities.Earlier reports said 27 people died and more than 650 were injured. According to the paper, 45 people have been pulled alive from the rubble so far. The search and rescue effort continues.A powerful 6.4 magnitude earthquake rocked Albania at around 04:00 local time (06:00 Moscow time) on November 26. Its epicenter was located 10 km northwest of the city of Shijak near Tirana. The earthquake's depth was 10 km. The quake was also felt in North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Greece, Croatia and some southern provinces of Italy.According to Albanian seismologists, more than 520 tremors were recorded after the earthquake on Tuesday. That was the second powerful earthquake in Albania since the beginning of this fall.
The Albanian village of Thumane experienced the worst destruction in this week's earthquake. Residents there have celebrated rescues and mourned deaths as emergency crews search the rubble for survivors.The Albanian village of Thumane was hit hard by Tuesday's 6.4 magnitude earthquake. Emergency services are now working around the clock to find and rescue locals. When someone is pulled from the rubble alive, villagers applaud and breathe a sigh of relief. When all rescuers can do is retrieve a dead body from the wreckage, villagers weep in sorrow. At least 26 people were killed by the quake and some 650 more injured.Albanian and international emergency teams use the heavy equipment that has arrived on the scene in their search. Police cordoned off buildings that were destroyed or are at risk of collapsing.Nearby, one man stands close to tears. In the night of the earthquake, he and his family had tried to flee from their multistory home. But as they made their way out, the ceiling gave away and his wife and son fell three stories. They have been missing ever since.Artur Bushi, the mayor of Kruja district, which was worst affected by the earthquake, coordinates the rescue operations, organizing aid, providing basic necessities and accommodation for those in need."Saving human lives obviously has number one priority for us right now," Bushi told DW.Once the first tremor hit, local authorities instantly came together to provide help, he said, adding, "We immediately received help from the capital, Tirana, and a lot of assistance from neighboring countries. There is great solidarity."Ditjon Kurti, a Red Cross staff member, said that after the earthquake struck, rescue workers from across the region streamed into Albania."We will do everything to save these people and will stay here until all the rubble is cleared away," Kurti said.The first emergency shelters have been set up on Thumane's football pitch. The Torocino family has moved into one of the tents. The family of four used to live on the top floor of a high-rise. But the building collapsed, reduced to a pile of rubble. Emergency services are still sifting through the wreckage trying to find survivors."We are in shock, and our children keep shivering," Ibije Torocini said, adding that the quake and building's swaying woke the family. "Me and my husband grabbed the children and bolted for the door - but it was blocked by the wardrobe that had moved because of the tremors. We heard a loud noise and saw the water tank crashing through the concrete ceiling and smash into our living room."They managed to open the door and flee the building, running for their lives. "Minutes after reaching safety, the building collapsed," she said. The Toci family were lucky to survive, too."Feeling everything sway was horrible," Klevis Toci said. "My family managed to get out of the building when the earth was still trembling."He said many of their neighbors did not get out in time and he prays they are still alive.There have been about 300 aftershocks. Mayor Bushi said the government wants to strike agreements with hotels in the nearby towns of Lezha and Durres to put up people who've lost their homes.Albanians and people around the world have donated money, clothes and food. Albania's neighbors have expressed solidarity, and many states have sent help. On Wednesday, Albania and Kosovo observed a day of national mourning.
The death toll from the strongest earthquake to hit Albania in more than three decades rose to at least 27 on Wednesday, as the country observed a day of mourning.Among the deaths, which included children, were at least 12 people killed in the coastal city of Durrës, at least 14 in Thumanë, and at least one in Kurbin. Officials say the death toll could increase further, with several people still unaccounted for. Hundreds of others were admitted to the hospital with injuries.
The government declared the state of emergency for the areas affected the most, as rescue crews continued to work to pull people from the rubble. Prefect of Durrës Roland Nasto told VOA there are nine sites "in the city where crews continue to work to find people," suggesting the toll might rise."[Tomorrow] we will start the process of finding shelter for people who today are under open skies and who will spend the night in tents, some of them - due to the trauma -- even refusing to be sheltered in arenas or gyms, afraid to be somewhere with a ceiling," Prime Minister Edi Rama said on Tuesday.He later visited Thumanë to assess the damage."We want our loved ones to be dug out of the rubble as soon as possible," said a Thumanë resident, who told VOA's Albanian Service her cousin and his wife were missing.Another resident said, "We are trying to find people that are dead or alive. We are afraid to go inside the buildings for fear that they will crumble."President Ilir Meta and opposition leader Lulzim Basha also visited areas affected by the quake.Aid and support has poured into the affected areas, with people offering their homes and sending care packages from different parts of Albania. Kosovo's outgoing government allocated $550,000 for relief efforts and Kosovo's Security Force sent specialized teams and enlisted help from private companies.Rescue teams and specialized crews were dispatched from neighboring Kosovo, Italy and Greece."Two groups of specialized crews have come from Kosovo, two from Greece, two from Italy, and we expect a specialized group of 40 from Italy," Nasto said.Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, who was visiting North Macedonia Tuesday, later in the day visited Albania to offer "any assistance needed to face the catastrophic situation."The European Commission said on Twitter that its stands by Albania "at this difficult time following the earthquakes.""We have mobilized immediate support to help local authorities, and rescue teams from Italy, Greece and Romania are already on their way," a statement on Twitter said.
Help also arrived from France, Turkey, Serbia, and the United States.The U.S. Embassy also sent a statement of condolence."The United States stands with our friends in Albania, just as Americans and Albanians have always stood by each other during difficult times. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and stand ready to offer our support," the Embassy said.On Wednesday, Pope Francis said he was praying for Albania."I would like to send a greeting and express my closeness to the dear Albanian people, who have suffered so much these days," the pope said. "Albania was the first country in Europe that I wanted to visit. I am close to the victims, I pray for the dead, for the wounded, for the families, may God bless them, the people that I love."The Albanian diaspora also was rallying to help, holding several fundraisers to send money to one of the poorest countries in Europe."I am so heartbroken for my people back home, for those who have lost lives and loved ones," New York City Assemblyman Mark Gjonaj, an Albanian American, told VOA.
Stopping at intervals to listen for the sounds of survivors, local and international rescue crews searched through the rubble of collapsed buildings Wednesday, a day after an earthquake in Albania killed at least 25 people and injured more than 650.Among those desperate for news was police officer Ajet Peci, who managed to emerge from the ruins of an apartment block that collapsed in the port city of Durres, killing his two adult daughters. His wife is still missing.
"How can I live?" Peci said, sobbing as he was consoled by neighbours, a bandage under his right eye and on a finger of his left hand. "I don't know what I did to make it out. I wish I had stayed with them."Neighbours said four or five families were living in the five-storey building at the time of the quake, as the owners of some of the apartments had emigrated.Overnight, authorities said four more people had been confirmed dead, raising the death toll to 25, while more than 650 people were injured in the magnitude 6.4 quake that struck the country's coastal cities.In Durres, Albania's second largest city, on the Adriatic Sea, residents slept in tents and cars and at a soccer stadium as powerful aftershocks from the earthquake continued. Others spent the night on open ground, huddling around fires to stay warm.Rescuers continued to comb the rubble of a four-storey villa that housed an extended family, looking for potential survivors. Locals said they believed about six people might still be in the collapsed structure.Flags were flying at half-staff on public buildings around the country Wednesday as Albania observed a national day of mourning.Prime Minister Edi Rama thanked neighbour Greece and other countries offering support."We feel good to not be alone and I'm very grateful to all our friends," Rama said late Tuesday, visiting Durres with Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias.Rescue teams and other disaster experts arrived from more than a dozen countries including France, Italy, Greece, Romania, Turkey, Serbia, and the United States.In the nearby town of Thumane, Kristina Margjini also spent the night outdoors."The quake left us without shelter. Everything we have is destroyed: The apartment, windows, everything, and we cannot live there anymore," she said.The quake in Albania on Tuesday was followed by a smaller one in nearby southern Bosnia and a 6.1 magnitude quake Wednesday off the coast of the island of Crete in Greece. No significant damage or injuries were reported from either quake.
A deadly earthquake struck Albania in the dark, early hours on Tuesday morning at a 6.4 magnitude.So far, 21 people are reported dead, over 600 people were injured, and many are still missing, officials said. The quake was the strongest to hit Albania in decades, according to a U.S. Geological Survey. The epicenter was located in Durres, a coastal city outside Albania's capital, Tirana. The survey also notes the economic losses are likely to fall between $100 to $1,000 million (USD).The quake was felt in neighboring countries like Italy, Bulgaria, Bosnia and others, reported The Associated Press. Authorities wanted locals to evacuate and stay off roads to make way for emergency vehicles. The New York Times noted that everything from heavy equipment to bare hands are being used to rescue civilians from the debris.The rubble that was once buildings and homes is now the site of rescue teams and volunteers, who are reportedly carrying stretchers as they search for victims. Other nations such as France, Greece, Italy, and Turkey have already offered their help Albania in the struggles that lie ahead, according to NPR.
Rescue crews with excavators searched for survivors trapped in toppled apartment buildings and hotels Tuesday after a powerful pre-dawn earthquake in Albania killed at least 18 people and injured more than 600.The magnitude-6.4 quake was felt across the southern Balkans and was followed by multiple aftershocks, with several above magnitude 5. In nearby Bosnia, another temblor with a preliminary magnitude of 5.4 struck southeast of the capital Sarajevo, causing only minor damage.The quake in Albania knocked down apartment buildings and hotels while people slept, and rescue crews worked into the evening to free people believed trapped. There was no indication as to how many people might still be buried in the rubble, as neighboring countries and European Union nations sent search-and-rescue crews to help.Local television stations showed footage in the early hours after the quake of a young boy being rescued from a collapsed building in the coastal town of Durres, 33 kilometers (20 miles) west of the capital Tirana. An excavator moved a broken slab of concrete and the boy cried and shouted in pain as local men pulled mangled reinforcement bars out of the way trying to try to free his leg from the rubble.Hours later, live TV footage showed people cheering as another child was found alive in a collapsed building in Durres where a body had been located earlier. In total, 43 people had been rescued from the rubble of buildings by Tuesday evening.Health Minister Ogerta Manastirliu said more than 600 people had been treated for injuries, including nine hospitalized with life-threatening injuries.
At least seven people were killed, 325 were injured in an Albanian earthquake of magnitude 6.4 on the night of Tuesday, the Albanian newspaper Koha Jone reported referring to the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the country.According to him, the injured were taken to hospitals in Durrës and Tirana. The rescue service received a total of about 400 calls asking for help, the newspaper added.
Albanian authorities have decided to cancel classes in educational institutions in three cities of the republic, including Tirana, Durrës and Lezhë, TASS reported.